Ernst Götsch’s Syntropic Farming:


Ernst Götsch’s Syntropic Farming:

A Green Revolution for Brazil’s Agribusiness


1. Introduction

Ernst Götsch, a Swiss farmer and researcher, has pioneered a groundbreaking approach to agriculture known as syntropic farming. His farm, Fazenda Olhos D’Água, located in Piraí do Norte, Bahia, Brazil, serves as a living testament to the power of regenerative practices. Let’s delve into the principles behind syntropic farming and explore its potential impact on Brazil’s agribusiness.

2. What Is Syntropic Farming?

Syntropic farming is more than just sustainable—it’s regenerative. Götsch’s method focuses on creating ecosystems that mimic natural forests, promoting biodiversity, soil health, and productivity. Key features include:

  • Successional Agroforestry: Götsch integrates various crops, including fruit trees, timber species, and vegetables, in a dynamic succession. This approach mirrors natural forest development, from pioneer species to climax vegetation.
  • Cooperative Planting: Unlike monoculture, where crops compete for resources, syntropic farming encourages cooperation. Plants with different growth rates and root structures thrive together, benefiting one another.
  • Biomass Accumulation: Götsch emphasizes the importance of biomass—both above and below ground. Trees contribute organic matter, enhancing soil structure and nutrient cycling.

3. Transforming Olhos D’Água

When Götsch acquired Fazenda Olhos D’Água in 1984, it was a degraded pasture. He set out to reverse this damage by reforesting the land and introducing cocoa as a key crop. The results were astounding:

  • Water Revival: Fourteen springs reappeared on the property, earning it the name “Olhos D’Água” (which means “Eyes of Water”). Götsch’s approach effectively “planted water,” replenishing aquifers and restoring natural hydrological cycles.
  • Diverse Yields: Olhos D’Água now produces a wide variety of fruits, valuable timber, and some of the world’s finest cocoa. Götsch’s agroforestry system demonstrates that abundance and biodiversity go hand in hand.

4. Outlook for Brazil’s Agribusiness

Syntropic farming offers hope for Brazil’s agribusiness sector:

  • Soil Regeneration: By adopting syntropic practices, farmers can rejuvenate depleted soils, reduce erosion, and enhance fertility. This translates to higher yields and long-term sustainability.
  • Climate Resilience: Syntropic systems sequester carbon, mitigating climate change. Brazil, with its vast agricultural lands, could significantly contribute to global carbon capture.
  • Economic Viability: Götsch’s farm proves that regenerative practices can be economically viable. Agribusiness can transition from extractive models to ones that restore ecosystems and yield valuable products.

In conclusion, Ernst Götsch’s syntropic farming revolutionizes our understanding of agriculture. As Brazil faces environmental challenges, embracing this holistic approach could lead to a greener, more prosperous future. 🌱🌎


  1. Agenda Gotsch: Ernst Götsch
  2. ECOAGRI: Ernst Götsch
  3. Facebook: Ernst Götsch
  4. Believe.Earth: Ernst Götsch
  5. BBC: Ernst Götsch


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